HERE'S WHY THE CONVERSE ALL-STARS BECAME THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR SNEAKERS
HERE'S WHY THE CONVERSE ALL-STARS BECAME THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR SNEAKERS
Converse All-Stars is probably the type of sneaker that makes you feel bomb. Do you recall how you felt the first time you wore converse sneakers? You felt amazing, didn’t you? It must have felt like you have joined some kind of cool gang. I have no doubt you still the same every time you wear them. These sneakers age like fine wine, the older they are, the more we fall in love with them.
Most people own an average of at least one pair of Converse Chuck Taylors in their life. This is because most people have a vague sense of fashion, and the shoes suit most styles. Irrespective of their differences in taste and appearance, celebrities such as Beyoncé, Wiz Khalifa, and Mila Kunis mention, but a few are All-Star funs of this Fphenomenal. you can wear them with just about any outfit. All Stars are tactually a century old and have a rich history to match.
So, how did Converse become a fashion icon today?
Our fashion stylists from Freaky Shoes help us understand why the sneaker is legendry.
The in 1908, Marquis Mill Converse set up a new venture in Malden, Massachusetts, and called it the Converse Rubber Shoe Company (the original Converse Company). Initially, the company made enough profits to keep it afloat. Later in 1917, the company transitioned to producing basketball sneakers. This was the turning point that made Converse ato shift from a simple rubber shoe to today's cultural icon. As a nod to their robust design, the kicks were given the name Converse All-Stars.
In 1921, they officially became a basketball shoe. This was after basketball Hall of Fame alum Chuck Taylor lent his name and signature to the trainers. The inclusion of basketball in the 1968 Olympic games meant more publicity for the now popular Converse All-Stars. This was made more compelling by America's win against Canada.
The Chucks Rebel.
In the 1950s, Chuck made the leap from athletic wear to alt fashion. This was when the classic black and white version was made part of the youth rocker uniform. There was a rebel without a cause. James Dean, appearing in several photos putting on his Jack Purcell Converse kicks, cemented their iconoclastic status. Chucks began to move out of the realm of sports into the field of chillin' despite being popularly associated with athletics historically. He sarcastically commented, and I quote, "It is crazy to think that the basketball cats played in Chuck Taylors. I got Chucks in my suitcase right now, but that shit gives you flat feet.”
The One Star.
Through the following years, the shoe was taken through a series of design and marketing incarnations. In 1970, Converse the Converse One Star was launched. It is the precursor to the classic design known today. Featuring a streamlined suede design with a star accent on the side, the One Star became the brand’s other bestseller.
It was famously rumored that the Ramones favored the sneakers for work and play. What was never known by many is that in reality, the band initially used to wear PRO-Keds before transitioning to Chucks. Asked for his comments, Drummer Tommy Ramone said he fancied the shoes although he did not know who Chuck Taylor was:
“He was maybe a basketball coach or something. I don’t know. He made cheap shoes.”
The Grunge EXPLOSION.
For the converse, the 1980s was a significant decade. This started in 1984 after the company was named an official sponsor of the Los Angeles Olympics. The United States walked away with a gold medal wearing these shoes. This was despite Ice Cube's assertion that the boots were not ergonomic.
However, when someone thinks of Chucks, it is not their basketball legacy that will crisscross their mind. The counterculture icons put on the shoes in the 1980s and 1990s that will feature grossly. Spurred on by the unofficial endorsement by brands from Guns N' Roses to Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, Chucks became a shoe of choice for rockers and rebels.
There is no such thing as negative publicity. The dirtier, the better. During the '90s, Grunge stars Kurt Cobain, and Winona Ryder rocked All-Stars. Later, the look was borrowed by Green Day, and All American rejects thus cementing the shoes as a mass-market staple. Mass production of the boots amounting to over 550 million pairs within a single year was reported by the end of 1997.
In 2001, there were rumors that the company was winding up. As a result, there was mass hysteria and public devotion to Converse. In 2003, Nike purchased the falling Converse company, confirming that its financial woes were no mere gossip. The settlement salvaged the company. Hence, countless innovative reincarnations of the famous shoe company resulted. The company's decision to sell out did not please die-hard Converse fans.
At the moment, Converse is in beautiful shape. According to the Bloomberg Businessweek report of September 2013, 'the vintage Converse brand's sales increased by 16 percent," putting Chucks ahead of Nike's innovations in terms of profitability. Converse has thus hopped aboard the designer collaboration train in a big way.
What are some of the reasons why Converse shoes are so popular?
They have a rich history: All-Stars was made famous by American Basketball player Charles 'Chuck' Taylor in 1923. This is the reason why the sneakers are often referred to as Converse Charles Taylors. The Converse Company, known as The Convers All-Stars, was once an official sponsor of Taylor. Afterward, the sneaker’s popularity grew and became the identity of basketball players. Later, soldiers and Olympic athletes started wearing shoes.
They are versatile: You can wear a pair of Converse sneakers, whether you are going on holiday, market, or even when getting married. For people who don't like carrying a lot of clothes while traveling, versatility eases stress for them. Converse can be packed and mixed and matched with a different look.
Converse All-Stars are iconic: It is almost a practical impossibility for most sneakers to remain relevant over the years. Irrespective of the changing fashion trends over the years, Converse sneakers have maintained consistency. This has primarily contributed to the attainment of the 'iconic status.' Its style is simple yet classic.
They are highly durable: All-Stars are of the strongest sneakers in terms of wear and tear. This most likely due to its rubber sole. Most people, the All-Star sneakers they acquired while teenagers usually outlive them as their shoe size changes.
Converse sneakers are wardrobe staples: The Converse sneakers have proven to be necessarily Wardrobe staple just like a plain white t-shirt and light washed denim. This does not seem like changing any soon.
Most reviewers have described Converse All-Stars, the quintessential classics. They are adaptable, timeless, and versatile, never out of style or out of place. I can't agree more.
Where are Converse Shoes Made?
Since its origin in the early 20th century, Chucks has always been made in the United States of America. The first Converse Chuck Taylor, was built in 1908. It was initially set up by Marquis Mills Converse in Malden, Massachusetts. By 1960, it was controlling about 80 percent of America’s share market. The biggest plant operation that was producing the shoes was located in Lumberton, N.C. This plant had employed over one thousand people before all the production in North America was stopped. The shoes were made in America until Converse file for bankruptcy in 2001. The announcement that Converse company was filing for bankruptcy and halting its operations in North America was upsetting to many die-hard Converse funs.
The new owners continued to manufacture Chucks Taylor but only overseas using plants in China, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Malaysia. In 2002, Nike purchased the brand and now manufactures the shoes. What do all these changes signify?
The basketball shoe is an American invention. Surprisingly, at the moment, most of the manufacturing plants for Athletic shoes are set elsewhere. The manufacturing of Chucks Taylor's shoes held against this trend for a very long period. It was the only brand name to be still made primarily in the United States. Thus, many people bought it to support its American manufacturing plant.
Many inventions in America are not made here. For example, most of the clothing items you buy in stores are not made here. Chuck Taylor All-Stars has also joined this trend.
Purchasing an American made product is supporting American labor and not foreign sweatshops. Many people bought chucks to support American labor. This was because they are opposed to products using sweatshop labor. The good news is no reports have emerged claiming chucks employ sweatshop labor in its manufacturing plants so far.
Why should sneakers be so expensive, yet they can be manufactured so cheaply overseas? Where does the money go? To the disadvantage of customers, the money goes to hard-sell advertising and endorsement campaigns, overpaid rich athletes, large corporate profits, and sports commercialization. For most people, purchasing and wearing chucks was a protest against outrageous prices with the "latest sneakers."
How are Converse Shoes Made?
Our experts at Freaky Shoes will now take you the process of making converse.
Raw materials: The converse shoes are made from rubber, canvas, synthetic dye, metal eyelets, and adhesives that are specially made in Converse manufacturing plants. Its laces are made from plastic and polyester.
Manufacturing: The double wrap vulcanized shoe making process is the one used to create converse shoes. The process involves the canvas upper receiving a pre-wrap and a thin layer of rubber, before attaching the rubber outsole. The pre-wrap and outsole are bonded. This is followed by heating of these parts in a vulcanizing oven at a temperature of over 300 degrees faraday. After heating is complete and rubber has been cured, the rubber toe cap is trimmed, and outer wrap is applied. Finally, the foxing tape is applied, along with the All-Star logo, to cover the overwrap's seams.
Transportation: Converse headquarters is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The shoes are usually distributed in over 160 countries and through over 90 company-owned retail stores worldwide.
Life and use: Converse are usually appealing to a diverse population of clients. They can be used for athletics, everyday fashion, and as a form of creative expression. Due to the nature of the shoes, the exact lifespan of Converse is difficult to approximate. The shoes' lifespan when one wears the pumps every day differs from the one who wears the shoes only on rare occasions. Moreover, the boots generally hold together better in warm climates as compared to cold climates.
Renewal and disposal: Worn out converse shoes can either be recycled or disposed of. Nike has a ReUSE-A-Shoe program. Thus, the converse shoes can be ground down and separated into foam, rubber, and fiber. These materials are then used to create new ways to play and used in track surfaces, gym floor tiles, and playground mats. The recycling program is a much better alternative than throwing the shoes away. The materials used to make the shoes are not readily biodegradable, making recycling the best option.
Converse All-Stars is one of the best sneakers to have been invented. Converse has been producing its best-selling Chuck Taylor All Stars for more than 100 years now. The classic sneakers have grown into a wardrobe staple, and most celebrities are owning the look.
Moreover, their functional and ultra-comfortable design, plus their chic silhouette, has made them a buyer favorite. Their great style, excellent value, and good vibe they generate will make you keep coming back. Today, their simple styling and tons of colorways go great with just about any casual attire.
Shop the original all-time best-selling sneakers at freakyshoes.com for buyer-friendly prices.